How and Where to Buy Designs Online

We understand that designing and setting-up files is not accessible to all of our customers. Or perhaps you’ve found a design online that you really like, but don’t know how you’d interpret it to laser-cut form and want to make sure the right person is being credited and paid for their work.
Purchasing commercial rights for use for designs online is a great way to get designs. Designers grant you their permission for you to use their work for whatever outcome you like (typically – it can vary!), and you pay a fee that they’ve set so you can do so legally and ethically. We have several resources that we suggest for this. They are as follows:
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Creative Market:

This is personally our favourite resource, as it has a range of great designs available for purchase, including our own range of shapes! 💜Shop here💜
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Graphic Burger:

Vector icons perfect for cut, etched or printed charms. Good variety, with most free or discounted. 💜Shop here💜
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Envato Elements:

A subscription to design resources including icons, illustrations, backgrounds and fonts. 💜Shop here💜
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Maker Case:

Easy website to make laser cut boxes, cases, etc. Type in your dimensions and it will give you a digital file to suit. 💜Shop here💜
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Thingiverse:

DIY laser cut projects. 💜Shop here💜

Here’s what you want to check before handing over your money:

  • Make sure that you’re purchasing the correct commercial rights for use if you intend to sell/re-sell (note: you may need to purchase extended commercial rights, depending on how you intend to use the design/s). Some websites display prices for personal use by default, and commercial rights for use are usually higher.
  • Make sure that what you’re buying matches up with the set-up guides for the product that you intend to order. Just be aware of the requirements from our Set-Up Guides. We typically see that you can buy a design online, but it will need to be formatted to be suitable for laser cutting and engraving. See more below*
  • Buy from a legit design resource website and/or do your research to double check that the design is meant to be there. Some of our staff have personally had people upload their work to ‘free for commercial use websites’ and makers (unbeknown to them) made products from a design that they did not have permission from the original creator. This is commonly only an issue with websites that promote ‘free’ designs.

*It’s likely that you will be able to purchase a vector image online, and will then need to have it set-up to be suitable for laser engraving (such as setting the cut lines and laying out how many pieces you would like cut from a sheet. Refer to our Set-Up Guides for more information, or reach out to a designer to see if they can format the image you want for laser cutting.

What you should avoid doing is using images that you’ve found online. Just because it’s online, does not mean that it is free. You need to contact the original creator to find out if you can use to for commercial use. You also shouldn’t copy someone else’s existing design/s, that’s highly unethical. Contact an artist to discuss your options if you like their designs enough to want to re-interpret them, but keep in mind that this is their intellectual property, and whether they want to sell their designs is ultimately their decision.

COVID-19 Update: It's business as usual at Vector Etch. We're processing orders daily; delayed delivery services may extend turn around.More info here.